A cold rain beat upon the doctor’s face and water soaked his clothing as he urged his horse on the trail through Tonto Basin.
Beloved Payson school teacher Julia Randall considered her family to include all the many children that passed under her tutelage.
On Aug. 8, 1899 a baby girl blessed the family of George and Rose Randall. She was given the name Julia after her paternal grandmother and an aunt.
Among the amazing accomplishments of Nan Pyle during her years in Payson, was her caring for the welfare of the local Tonto Apache Tribe and its families. With their rich language the Apaches called her “A woman who has a heart as big as she is,” and in fact Nan was a very large woman.
Nan Pyle brought culture and progress to the little cow town of Payson, and the day she arrived she immediately made the dust fly with her energetic plunge into civic affairs.
August Pieper was 19 years old when he immigrated to the United States in 1869. A large number of young men and entire families were leaving Germany at this time because of the turmoil from the Austro-Prussian War and the movement to establish a new German Federation.
After 1952 the Owens family sawmill became part of the familiar scene in the town of Payson.
Horace Franklin Owens brought his family to Payson from Pinedale (Navajo County), Ariz., sometime during the decade of the 1920s. The children of Horace and his wife Ethel (Shaw) included Franklin Maurice Owens, born April 21, 1911; George Keith Owens, born in 1912; and Kermeth Lane Owens, born Oct. 4, 1914. The boys’ sister, Kathlyn Mae Owens, was born Nov. 6, 1916. 
Throughout her years of teaching Marguerite Noble developed her love for writing and storytelling.
Marguerite Noble is best known as the author of the novel “Filaree” (Random House, 1979), a story of ranch life in Arizona’s Tonto Basin from 1910 on through the 20th century.
Lafayette P. Nash returned victoriously from his time at the Territorial Legislature, and on Dec. 13, 1886 he was appointed postmaster at Strawberry.
It was early July in Tonto Basin, 1882, and the temperature was getting quite warm. The postmaster at Reno, Lafayette P. Nash, was startled to find the old army camp filling with cavalry units from Fort McDowell.
Lafayette Philander Nash made his mark in the Rim Country as a prospector, community leader, postmaster, merchant and miner, but tracing the odyssey of his life proved to be a very confusing search.
When Clyde Moose became superintendent of the Payson Ranger District in 1937, life there was still primitive. For example, there had been no telephone connection to the “outside world” until just before Ranger Moose arrived.
Clyde P. Moose came to Payson in March 1937 to assume the position of District Forest Ranger and though his stay was only three years, he and his wife Ruby endeared themselves to the ranchers and townsfolk.
There were two McDonald families who made their mark during the early settlement of Payson.
Belle Lovelady had served as the first telephone operator in Payson for a few years when Walter’s lung problems recurred. She had the switchboard moved from the Forest Service headquarters to their home on Frontier Street so she could stay close to him.
Belle Lovelady and her husband Walter were living at his ranch on Webber Creek after he returned from serving in World War I.
Belle Lovelady is best known in the Rim Country as the first telephone operator for the Payson area.
Julian Journigan and his cousin Charley See were partners beginning in 1921 operating the government mail between Payson and Globe. They had graduated from a horse-drawn mail wagon to a Cadillac touring car that would carry five passengers and their luggage as well as the mail.
Julian Journigan would be best remembered for driving a Cadillac on his mail route between Payson and Globe, and for his kindness to ranchers along the route.
The Indian Hill community grew as more Tonto Apaches settled there, returning from the San Carlos Reservation.
The old army scout Henry Irving had retired and after living for some years with relatives at San Carlos and Camp Verde he settled with his wife and other relatives on Indian Hill in the center of Payson. 
Henry Irving is a figurehead in the history of the Tonto Apache Tribe at Payson, and his fascinating story bridges the years from the tribe’s confinement at San Carlos in the 1870s to the time they received their own reservation in the 1970s.
John Francis Holder’s home state was Mississippi, where, at the age of 29, he was a widower with five children.
If the sons of Peter and Sallie Haught had stayed in Texas, their descendants would have been millionaires.
David Douglas Gowan was born in Scotland in 1843 and raised by his fisherman family to be a man of the sea.
Arizona’s Mogollon Rim country was destined for international fame when it was discovered by author Zane Grey in 1918.
Those who lived in the Rim Country before State Route 87 became a divided highway will remember coming down Slate Creek Hill and driving through the main street of a ghost town called Goswick’s Camp.
Chapter 24: Mount Ord
The lofty Mazatzal Mountains presented the formidable barrier to the Tonto Basin, and had to be breached if the army and pioneers were ever to settle the Rim Country.
Chapter 22: Mazatzal Mountains
The Mazatzal Mountain range forms a boundary between Gila County and Maricopa County; it rises on the southwestern edge of Tonto Basin and descends into the Sonoran Desert at the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Chapter 21: Mazatzal City
If you have made a practice of exploring new places in the Rim Country, you have undoubtedly been taken by surprise to come upon some hidden pocket of beauty you never saw before.
Chapter 20: Jake’s Corner
The place known today as Jake’s Corner is 25 miles north of Roosevelt Lake and three miles east of State Route 87 on Route 188.
Chapter 19: Horton Creek and Indian Gardens
You would not expect to find a place in the Rim Country named after a politician — that is until you come upon Horton Creek. William B. Horton was one of the leaders in public education for Territorial Arizona, and as superintendent of public instruction from 1883 to 1897, he and his successor Robert Long, were instrumental in bringing the unorganized schools of the Territory into a unified system.
Chapter 18: Happy Jack, Clint's Well and Long Valley
Map-makers and map-readers have puzzled for years over the fact that the Happy Jack post office is in Long Valley and the Long Valley Ranger Station is at Happy Jack. As we might expect, “herein lies a tale.”
Chapter 17: Grand Prize Mine
Webber Creek is best known today for the Geronimo Boy Scout Camp that occupies its headwaters under the Rim, and for the Geronimo Estates, a residential subdivision just downstream from the Boy Scout Camp.
Chapter 16: Gordon Canyon
Gordon Canyon is a place quite “off the beaten track” yet it contains some of the Rim Country’s dramatic pioneer stories, stories of hardship, glory and love.
Chapter 15: Four Peaks
Anyone who has lived in Arizona for some time becomes familiar with its mountain peaks, each with its story and tradition.
Chapter 14 – Fossil Creek
Fossil Creek has produced much lore from prehistoric until modern times.
Chapter 13: Forest Lakes
Many people had never heard of Forest Lakes, Arizona, before the Rodeo-Chediski Fire hit the national news.
Chapter 12 – Doll Baby Ranch
Driving west around Payson’s Green Valley lakes and past the golf course on Country Club Drive, the pavement ends and the name of the road becomes the Doll Baby Ranch Road.
Chapter 10: Crook Military Road
A bold move had to be taken by the United States Army in 1871 to curb Apache raids on white settlements and ranches.
Chapter 9 — Chevelon Creek
Among the most remote and beautiful creeks in Arizona is Chevelon Creek and it contains an abundance of challenges and history.
Chapter 8 – Chediski is more than a fire
Arizona residents will long remember the Rodeo-Chediski Fire of June 2002.
Chapter 7 – The Secrets of Butterfly Springs
Tucked obscurely away inside the Payson town limits is an ancient Native American campground.
Chapter 6 – Bray Creek Ranch
Bray Creek is a little mountain brook nestled in the arms of Arizona’s great escarpment, the Mogollon Rim.
Chapter 5 - The Blue Ridge (Cragin) Reservoir
It was spring, 1963, and we were hiking up the canyon along the east Verde River from our cabin, which is at the end of the private land.
Chapter 4 – The Black Mesa (aka Mogollon Rim)
Long, long ago, before white, Spanish or Mexican explorers came this way, Native people were impressed by the jagged 2,000-foot-high escarpment that runs for 200 miles across central Arizona to New Mexico.
Chapter 3 – Baker Butte
The highest point on the Mogollon Rim is a conical hill named Baker Butte.
Chapter 2 — The Apache Trail
It is always fun to take visitors on tours of the Rim Country, pointing out the sights and telling the stories.